Skip to main content

Missed Opportunity: Camping at Fairgrounds

What a pleasure it was to saddle up the ol' hound dog and go for a walk in town to all the places that one needs to live. I like to take the pulse of a town in this style, and walking is the best way to do it.

I am camped in a low-budget county fairgrounds in western Colorado. It is hard to believe that "low budget" and "Colorado" could appear in the same sentence, but they can, once you avoid the tourist traps. Better yet, you can sometimes get quite close to tourist traps without suffering the disadvantages.

All it really takes is the willingness to get interested in something besides how 'breathtakingly beautiful' it is, aka, how big, freakish, and vertical it is.

And why shouldn't it be economical to camp at the county fairgrounds? The facilities have to be put there to service campers using the fairgrounds during the half-dozen festivals that happen every year.  Any additional camping fees are just "dessert" for the fairgrounds.

And if the camper walks around town and spends money, all the better. He is saving money by not driving anywhere.

So much of the price of camping is artificial.  I was in a Utah city once and asked about camping at the fairgrounds. I was told that, "No, they didn't want camping at the county fairgrounds because that would compete against the private sector RV parks."

I didn't respond, but I wanted to say, "Why do you have public libraries or public schools?" The price of RV parks is high in part because it is tied to local real estate prices, which are inflated because of the financialization of American society. It isn't really "private sector."

All over Flyover America, there are under-utilized or over-priced county fairgrounds. What a wasted opportunity!

In the mean time, some of the low-lifes who hang out here make me ashamed of camping in a shrewdly intelligent and frugal manner. It shouldn't be like that.


Bill said…
Towns, especially smaller ones, that respond to the transient RV'ers by providing simple spots to camp (generally a night or two) in most cases reap the benefit of selling them provisions, fuel, etc. Granted there are freeloaders who glom on a spot, but that can be remedied by setting time limits.
Yes, Bill, some of those small towns are quite hospitable, even at the city park.